Proper Posture and Professional Presentation for Singers, Public Speakers and Actors

Before we can Breathe, Sing, Speak or just walk around, we need to create good posture in our body. Good posture is demonstrated when your body is standing straight up with no “hunch back.” Imagine standing or walking while balancing a book on your head and this will create the effect I am talking about. This type of posture provides a few positive things for you. The most important result is an open Lower Abdominal Cage so you can consistently inhale a full breath and an Erect Stance that communicates to others that you are Confident and Positive.

Posture – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The word “posture” is derived from the latin verb “ponere” which is defined as “to put or place.” The general concept of human posture refers to “the carriage of the body as a whole, the attitude of the body, or the position of the limbs (the arms and legs).”

Good posture is the stance which is attained, “when the joints are not bent and the spine is aligned and not twisted.” In this position, a person is thus able to completely and optimally attain balance and proportion of the body mass and framework. Good posture optimizes breathing and affects the circulation of bodily fluids. Padmasana or the Lotus Position is a central stance in yoga which
is used to enhance breathing through good posture. The word padmasana is a combination of the sanskrit words padma (lotus) and asana (posture).

During my 26 years of private coaching Singing Voices in all styles, directing Choirs, working with Rock and Pop vocalists and coaching Public Speakers and Actors, here is one simple physical attribute which is often lacking and can easily be improved. That is the performance of Correct Posture. When I make mention of the need to improve to many students when I see they have bad posture, I often get that “look” like “are you kidding?”

No, I am not. How often do you see people when you are out and about walking around that are walking, sitting or standing with dropped shoulders, a slouched back and a dropped chin with the head tilted forward? Be honest about how you perceive somebody like this. Does this person appear confident, happy, interesting, important, friendly or approachable? Are they somebody you would like to get to know? Probably not. How about taking a personal inventory of yourself, because maybe you are doing the same thing. When was the last time that you watched yourself walk, stand or sit. I suggest that you do and if your posture is not good, make some changes. Because, if this condition is unchanged, it can become a permanent condition as we age.

For Singers, Speakers and Actors, it is even more critical that the body perform good posture. It is not only for the prior mentioned important reasons; it is also because it is more difficult to breathe properly when our abdominal cage is compressed and not erect. Try this. To breathe correctly, you should know that the style of “belly breathing” is the correct one. This is when your lower abdomen is extended when you inhale oxygen. Try to do this with slouched posture. You will find that you can’t extend your abdomen as far. If you straighten up, you will be able to. As you will learn in my book “Singing and Speaking on the Edge of a Grunt,” the amount of oxygen we breathe in and the position of our abdomen prior to coordinating our abdominal muscles to expel the air in a controlled and power manner is probably the most critical aspect of singing of speaking properly.

Let’s first define good posture. Do you remember the old technique that was used by models to work on their posture as they were told to walk while balancing a book on their head? The truth is that this “old” technique is still a “great” technique. Try it. Stand in front of a full-length mirror, put a book on your head and try to stand and walk. It’s a real challenge, isn’t it? While you are doing this, look at how your body responds and creates good posture. Don’t you look great? Sure you do. The trick is to file away this memory into your subconscious so that it becomes an automatic way of presenting yourself and not a conscious way that you always have to think of. That can only be accomplished through dedicated practice.

What is good posture?

Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.

Proper posture.

1) Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.

2) Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.

3) Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.

4) Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.

5) Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.

6) Prevents strain or overuse problems.

7) Prevents backache and muscular pain.

8)Contributes to a good appearance.

What contributes to bad posture?

1) Bad attitude

2) Obesity

3) Depression

4) Lack of Confidence

5) Pregnancy

6) Weak muscles

7) High-heeled shoes

8)Tight muscles; decreased flexibility

9) Poor work environment

10) Poor sitting and standing habits

Let’s review the negative aspects of performing poor posture.

1) You look ill

2) You look depressed

3) You don’t appear confident

4) You do not appear approachable

5) You look shy

Let’s review the positive aspects of performing good posture.

1) You look confident

2) You look happy

3) You look approachable

4) You look healthy

Correct posture is obviously a very important part of presenting yourself. Think of all the things we do that will be affected.

1) Talking with your boss or co-workers with personal power.

2) Speaking to one person or a group with confidence.

3) Singing or performing in general with confident energy.

4) Standing or walking with confidence.

5) Communicating to others that your are approachable.

And what does it cost you to receive all these incredible benefits? Nothing! It is entirely free. But, it will take a lot of practice and hard work to change old habits.

I hope that you will begin today to improve your image with such a simple thing as improving your posture.

For more information, watch my latest YouTube video on Correct Posture by clicking below.

Thank you again for reading!

Jonathan Morgan Jenkins

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